My Latest in Wines & Vines Magazine: Seeking Perfection in Pinot Noir

Dear Readers:

Delighted to share my latest article in Wines & Vines Magazine:

Seeking Perfection in Pinot Noir

Six winemakers in two states share their vineyard and winery practices

By L. M. Archer

“God made Cabernet Sauvignon, whereas the devil made Pinot Noir.”

If the devil is in the details, then Pinot Noir makers comprise an unholy lot. Pinot Noir cuts a cruel swath through winemakers who may be inattentive, ill-informed or uninspired.

In an effort to analyze domestic Pinot Noir production standards, six winemakers from two regions—Sonoma and Willamette Valley—share their viticultural, vinification and post-production methods here. The wines in this article retail for $45 to $90 per bottle. Read more here. Copyrighted Wines & Vines Magazine.

Copyrighted 2018 L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.

Springing Forth

Happy Spring, Dear Readers!

As you enjoy this holiday weekend, I’ll be springing forth with some exciting new features in a few notable publications…details on Monday. 

Some of the wines offered by the vintners and growers of Monterey County for the annual invitation-only local trade tasting at
La Playa Hotel, Carmel-by-the-Sea.

In the meantime, enjoy these views from the recent Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association trade tasting I attended at La Playa Hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association 2018 Trade Tasting at La Playa Hotel, Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Pssst…for more hints about my upcoming features, follow me:

Instagram  @binnotes.

Cheers – and  holiday greetings to you and yours!

 

Copyrighted 2018 L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.

The Hedonistic Taster | № 37 | Silver Mountain Vineyards

The Hedonistic Taster | № 37 | Silver Mountain Vineyards

The Hedonistic Taster | № 37 | Silver Mountains Vineyards – Santa Cruz Mountains, CA.

by L.M. Archer, FWS | Bourgogne + Champagne  ML

Tastevin

“Wine should not be regarded simply as a beverage, but as an art of living, a pleasure.” – Henri Jayer

Welcome to The Hedonistic Taster, an intimate showcase of artisan winemaker trade samples. The title “Hedonistic Taster” derives from the term ‘hedonistic tasting,’ coined by legendary Burgundian vigneron Henri Jayer.

These tasting notes focus upon Burgundy, bubbles and beyond, including emerging pinot noir and bubbles producers worldwide.

Today’s Tasting: Silver Mountain Vineyards – Santa Cruz Mountains, CA.

Jerold O’Brien is used to shaking things up on Silver Mountain Winery.

Nestled at 2,100 feet amidst a quietly spectacular redwood forest, Silver Mountain Vineyards sports vistas spanning Monterey Bay to San Francisco Bay.  The nonconformist and former air force pilot/silver speculator founded Silver Mountain Vineyards in 1979.

His winery sits atop the sandstone-laden San Andreas Fault, within view of the  North Pacific plate. O’Brien’s unfortunate proximity to both fault lines proved fateful when he lost the first winery and three years of production in the 1989 earthquake.

Rebuilding post-earthquake allowed O’Brien the opportunity to implement sustainable designs that support his tenant “to respect Mother Earth and set an example on how to save the planet.” Silver Mountain Vineyards now boasts one of the largest solar arrays in the Santa Cruz Mountains, an extensive rain water-collection system, shaded area to reduce storage, and an artificial cave for barrel storage. O’Brien contends it may be the most sustainable winery in the area.

O’Brien insists upon practicing organic farming, earning CCOF certification in 1991 for his efforts.

Today, Silver Mountain Vineyards produces award-winning estate and single-vineyard sourced, small-lot Burgundy-inspired wines – plus private, premium label winemaking for a few high-quality wine growers in the region.

Wine:  Silver Mountain Vineyards Tondrés Grapefield Chardonnay – Santa Lucia Highlands

Vintage: 2014

Alcohol:  13.5%

Suggested Retail: $34 (Link)

Link to Producer Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Clear, gold robe.                                          

Nose:  Delicate melba toast, butterscotch aromas.

Palate: Medium body, lush, golden apple bouche.

Wine:  Silver Mountain Vineyards Tondrés Grapefield Pinot Noir – Santa Lucia Highlands

Vintage: 2010 

Alcohol:  14.1%

Suggested Retail: $44 (Link)

Link to Producer Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Deep purple-raspberry robe.

Nose:  Bramble berry nose.

Palate: Light body, dark berry – raspberry, blackberry, blueberry bouche. Acids, tannins, finish +.

Wine: Silver Mountain Vineyards Estate Pinot Noir

Vintage: 2012

Alcohol:  13.3%

Suggested Retail: $44 (link)

Link to Producer Specs

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Deep garnet robe.

Nose:  Forest floor, dark berry, truffle, barnyard notes.

Palate: Black fruit, bramble, black cherry bouche. Light/medium body, acids, tannins, finish +.

 

Silver Mountain Vineyards 2010 Méthode Champenoise Pinot Noir Sparkling Wine.

Wine: Silver Mountain Vineyards 2010 Méthode Champenoise Pinot Noir Sparkling 

Vintage: 2010

Alcohol:  12.5%

Suggested Retail: $44. AVAILABLE TO CLUB MEMBERS ONLY.

Producer Specs: Once-in-a-decade wine, sourced from Mun’s Vineyard. The winemaker produces only enough to disgorge 20+ cases each year for 8 years, starting in 2015.

TASTING NOTES:

Robe:  Clear pêche robe, pinhead beading, diffuse mousse.

Nose:  Brioche, salmonberry, stone fruit on the nose.

Palate: Light body, bright acids, creamy bouche. Unicorn wine, representative of the Santa Cruz Mountains – complex, earthy, ethereal. A rare find, indeed.

More about Silver Mountain Vineyards here.

 402 Ingalls St, Ste. 29, Santa Cruz 95063
408-353-2278 (at the winery)
Friday 3:00-7:00 PM, and Saturday & Sunday, 12:00-5:00 PM.

More of The Hedonistic Taster here.

Always grateful to hear from you – please feel free to leave your comments below. Many thanks for your follows on social media – cheers!

Copyrighted 2018 L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.

My Latest in MWBI: SOMMS & Rock Stars

“Sweden’s sommeliers are recognised as some of the best in the world. They’re also highly influential. L.M. Archer asks them what makes them tick…”

Now available in Meininger Wine Business International Vol I 2018 – link here.

(Full feature available to subscribers.)

 

Always grateful for your comments – please feel free to share your thoughts below. Many thanks for your follows on social media.

Copyrighted 2018 L.M. Archer | binNotes | redThread™. All Rights Reserved.

On Heritage, Honey…and Judgement

Dear Readers:

As a wine and lifestyle writer, my assignments immerse me in a myriad of topics. As a judge, I must taste and tipple through a slew of selections.

Here’s a glimpse through a sample of this past week’s itinerary:

Pascal Brooks.
Image: ©L.M. Archer.

Heritage 

As a wine writer, one of the stories I’m working on now for a vinous publication includes this young ‘old soul,’ Pascal Brooks. Pascal’s late father Jimi Brooks founded Brooks Wine in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, and pioneered biodynamics in the region.

Getting the buzz on bees from Emily Bondor of Santa Cruz Bee Company and Hum & Hive co-owner Gary Maricich. Images: ©L.M. Archer

Honey

As a lifestyle writer, I’m sleuthing out a story for a regional publication on Bay area culinaries and luminaries helping to preserve area bee colonies from collapse,  including Hum & Hive owners Jodi and Gary Maricich, here hosting a class on bees taught by bespoke beekeeper Emily Bondor of Santa Cruz Bee Company.

International Chocolate Salon 2018 standouts: Basel Bazlamit of Basel B Inc. Chocolate & Confections, Shannon and Wlady Grochowski of La Châtelaine Chocolat, and Karla McNeil-Rueda of Cru Chocolate.                           Images: ©L.M. Archer

Judgement

As a judge, I notched another year at the SF International Chocolate Salon – this one held at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. For unabashed chocoholics, this event’s for you – lashings of artisan chocolatier love, all under one roof!

Personal faves: Opulent Basel B Inc. hand-painted artisan edibles, sumptuous Parisian-inspired La Chatelaine Chocolates, and ever-elegant, award-winning Cru Chocolate.

That it….Watch this space for links later to the published stories…cheers!

Always grateful for your comments – please feel free to share your thoughts below. Many thanks for your follows on social media.

Copyrighted 2018 L.M. Archer | binNotes | redThread™. All Rights Reserved.

Intention, Trust, Transparency…and Rebranding

Winemaking is an art. It’s also a business. So is wine writing.

Grape growing takes patience. Thought. Care. Effort.

Nothing gets planted, harvested, and produced without intention, without trust, without transparency.

As a wine writer, I strive to emulate the same intention, trust and transparency practiced by those about whom I write. And yet…

My final redThread™ wine maker interview at the end of 2017 verified what I’d already suspected. That final interview I failed to follow my own standard procedures, which resulted in a few errors, since corrected.

But the entire situation bothered me. Why? Because I realized that I was more concerned about getting the interview done, than getting it right. I resented the non-renumerated time spent, time needed for my professional work. My heart just wasn’t in it. I lacked intention. I lost trust. I almost lost transparency. Almost.

In truth, blogging does not make me happy. Writing makes me happy. Professional writing makes me happiest.

To that end, binNotes.com will be rebranding in second quarter 2018, replaced by lmarcher.com. The new site will showcase my professional writing portfolio. It’s a work in progress, one I will share with you once completed. I’m still teasing out hosting platforms, site designers, and migration issues while juggling assignments, the odd family emergency, and an extended stay up north in May for Oregon Wine Month. In the meantime, binNotes will continue to feature links to my professional work, and highlight The Hedonistic Taster trade tasting notes.

Writing is a calling. It’s also a craft. Who knows why I find endless merriment in the tortured, meticulous summing and subtracting of words across a blank page, all in an endless quest to tell a story that rings true in people’s hearts, minds and souls? I just do. Hence my need to protect and honor this privilege.

May you, too, find the courage to protect that which feeds your soul. Cheers~

 

Always grateful for your comments – please feel free to share your thoughts below. Many thanks for your follows on social media.

Copyrighted 2018 L.M. Archer | binNotes | redThread™. All Rights Reserved.

My latest in Winebusiness.com | Double-Header!

Wow – what a sweet ‘slide home’ and start of a bon weekend!

Nice to learn I have a double-header in today’s Winebusiness.com –  two of my latest features in subscriber publications:

Swedish Sommeliers & Rockstars in Meininger Wine Business International

and

A Woman’s Place is in the Domaine: An Exclusive Interview with Ludivine Griveau of Hospices de Beaune in Basil & Salt Magazine.

These stories happen because of an international brother-and-sisterhood of sommeliers and winemakers.

In Sweden, heartfelt thanks to “Team Nordic”: Marie Oskarsson, noted journalist and writer, Helena Wolff of Gothia Towers, Emma Ziemann of Thornstroms kok, Cathrine Suzeau of Koka, Tina Johansson Rubén Sanz Marino of PM & Vanner,  Robert Andersson, and Jonas Sandberg of Folii Wine Bar and La Paulée Nordic, and the fine media folks at Systembolaget.

 In Burgundy, special gratitude to Virginie Taupenot-Daniels of Femmes et Vins de Bourgogne and the incomparable Ludivine Griveau, first female winemaker at Hospices de Beaune.

Enjoy the weekend, all!

Always great hearing from you below, and for your follows on social media – cheers!

Copyrighted L.M. Archer | binNotes. All Rights Reserved.